Committee considered a report which provided information on the Council’s performance in relation to its customer service standards and effective management of complaints for the period 1st October 2019 to 31st March 2020 and the annual summary for 2019/20.
Customer Service Standards
Appendix 1 to the report provided a breakdown of the key customer service standards by quarterly period, together with the target and the cumulative performance for each standard.
Telephones - Target - 93% to be answered within 20 seconds
Appendix 2 to the report provided performance information between 1st October 2019 and 31st March 2020 by quarterly period. The report identified that 98% (in both Quarter 3 and Quarter 4) of incoming calls were answered corporately within 20 seconds cumulatively. The departments narrowly missing the key customer service standard of 93% for those periods were;
· Housing and Community Safety 92% in Q3
· Planning 92% in Q3.
Cumulatively, performance is 98% over 2019/20.
Contact Centres - Target - 80% of incoming calls to be answered within 20 seconds
Contact Centres achieved 80% and 76% for Q3 & 4 respectively (78% cumulatively).
Cumulatively performance was 78% over 2019/20, which fell just short of the target of 80%.
Revenues & Benefits - Target - 60% of incoming calls to be answered within 20 seconds
Revenues & Benefits ‘direct dial’ achieved 81% and 81% for Q3 & 4 respectively (81% cumulatively).
Cumulatively performance was 77% over 2019/20, which exceeded the target of 60%.
With regard to this performance outturn, a Member felt that it was reassuring that customers were able to speak to a member of staff in Revenues and Benefits quite quickly, especially in light of current financial circumstances relating to Covid19 and suggested that some targets may need to be reviewed for the same reason.
E-mails - Target 1 - 100% to be acknowledged within 1 working day and Target 2 - 100% to be replied to within 8 working days
6,488 email enquiries (3,388 in Q3 and 3,100 in Q4) were received from the public through - all were acknowledged within 1 working day and 99% were replied to in full within 8 working days.
Emailing remained the popular method of contacting the Council with more e-mails received by the public in the reporting period compared to the same period in 2018/19 of 4,798 emails.
Face to face monitoring - Target – 99% not kept waiting longer than 20 minutes at a Contact Centre
Waiting times were monitored for 1 week (w/c 15th July 2019) in 2019/20 due to the Contact Centre being closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Of the 813 customers who called into the Contact Centres, 812 (99.9%) waited less than 20 minutes to be served. This exceeded the corporate target and demonstrated excellent service.
During the same period, 199 callers were served on Meet & Greet at The Arc, bringing the total number of callers served during the monitoring period to 1012.
Compliments, Comments and Complaints
Written compliments received for the period by department were set out at Appendix 3 (A) attached to the report.
In total 218 written compliments were received from customers who appreciated excellent service. These included 44 for Leisure, 35 for Streetscene, 35 for Revenues & Benefits and 26 for Housing. As some compliments cross cut departments, the number did not correspond with the total above when viewed in this way.
Written comments received for the period were set out at Appendix 3 (B) attached to the report. 100% (all 39) were acknowledged and passed to the respective department within the target time of 3 working days for consideration when reviewing their service.
Frontline resolution (stage one)
The number of Frontline Resolution complaints received by the Contact Centre service and recorded on the Customer Information System (Firmstep) by department were set out at Appendix 3 (C) attached to the report. The customer service standard for responding to these complaints was 3 working days.
Formal Investigation (stage two)
Formal Investigation complaints by department were set out at Appendix 3 (D) attached to the report. 110 complaints were received during the period and 92% were responded to within the customer service standard of 15 working days.
This had not met the target of 97% and was due to officer availability who were dealing with contingency plans in relation to the Covid 19 pandemic which consequently impacted on response times.
As some complaints cross cut departments, the number did not correspond with the total above when viewed in this way.
Internal Review (stage three)
Stage three complaints received for the period by department were set out at Appendix 3 (E) attached to the report. These were complainants who had already made a stage two complaint and still felt dissatisfied.
Thirteen stage three complaints were received, 77% (10) of which were responded to within the standard of 20 working days. Again, this did not meet the target of 100% due to the Covid 19 pandemic impacting on the availability of officers and consequently response times.
The status of Ombudsman complaints for 2019/20 as at the end of March 2020 was set out at Appendix 3 (F) attached to the report.
Three cases were received during the period – 1 decision was ‘Not upheld: no maladministration’, 1 was commuted to the Internal Review stage as the complainant had not fully completed the complaints process and a decision was still awaited regarding the third.
A table in the report provided a summary of performance for compliments, comments and complaints for 2019/20 with comparative data from previous years.
Whilst there were no real trends leading to service improvements during the financial year some issues had been identified around the New Bolsover regeneration project, which was currently the subject of a Scrutiny Review.
Moved by Councillor Clive Moesby and seconded by Councillor David Downes
RESOLVED that the report be noted.